His removal of the phrase "the search for truth" from the University of Wisconsin's mission statement got all the ink, but Gov. Walker's plans for UW are more nefarious than that. By getting rid of programs such as the "institute for excellence in urban education" at UW-Milwaukee and the "center for environmental education" at UW-Stevens Point, and adding the phrase "to meet the state's workforce needs" to the mission statement, Mr. Walker plans to turn the state college system into "a glorified technical school that produces workers for corporations," which conjures up the unhelpful image of an actual university system replaced with a system little better than the for-profit schools that disappear into the night with your money.
Good news in Nebraska: a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The bad news? This judge has struck down the ban once before, in 2005, and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed it a year later. But, as you know, a lot has happened since then -- not just 37 states legalizing gay marriage, but the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, not to mention Prop 8's death at the hands of Judge Walker and President Obama's endorsement of gay marriage. So stay tuned.
Even the International Monetary Fund says "(t)he decline in unionization in recent decades has fed the rise in incomes at the top." "While some inequality can increase efficiency by strengthening incentives to work and invest, recent research suggests that higher inequality is associated with lower and less sustainable growth in the medium run," they go on to say, leading one to wonder exactly how right-wingers can justify more than three decades of "strengthening incentives to work and invest."
After a New York City TV program captures a terminally ill man's dying moments on camera, New York state Assembly mulls whether filming patients receiving medical treatments without their consent should be a felony. I don't think we deter crime very well simply by making punishments bigger, but since Mr. Chanko's death doesn't qualify as a snuff film (he would have died whether a film crew was there to record his last moments or not), and his family found a surprising number of obstacles to their attempts to redress the resulting heartbreak, the legislature clearly needs to do something, if not precisely this.
Finally, McDonald's announces that it will phase out, over two years, chicken made with antibiotics used to treat humans. That may not be as big a deal as it sounds -- the illnesses antibiotics target really don't care which species the antibiotics are for, and McDonald's hasn't yet made similar commitments for its beef and pork products, or its overseas eateries -- but it is progress.